Commissioners2018-10-15T10:45:02+00:00

Commissioners

Ian Walton

Public Member, Chair

Dr. Ian Walton has served since 2013. He has 33 years’ teaching experience and is a Faculty Emeritus in Mathematics from Mission College with experience in faculty staff development, basic skills, and educational technology. A former Fulbright Scholar and winner of the California Community College Chancellor’s Office Hayward Award, and Excellence in Technology Leadership Award, Dr. Walton holds Ph.D. and M.A. degrees from University of California, Santa Cruz, and a B.S. in Pure Mathematics from University of St. Andrews, Scotland. He is a former President of the Academic Senate for California Community Colleges. He serves on the Evaluation and Planning Committee, and was a member of the Standards Review Committee during the ACCJC’s recent review of Standards. He has served on 10 evaluation teams, seven of those comprehensive evaluations.

Sonya Christian

Administrative Member, Vice Chair

Dr. Sonya Christian began her service in 2015. She is the President of Bakersfield College. She has served on two comprehensive evaluation teams and chaired a team in 2015. Dr. Christian has extensive experience on the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities as team member and team chair while serving in various leadership roles at Lane Community College in Oregon. Dr. Christian holds a B.S. from the University of Kerala in India; an M.S. from the University of Southern California; and a Doctorate in Educational Leadership from the University of California, Los Angeles.

Dr. Mary A.Y. Okada

Mary A.Y. Okada

Administrative Member, PPEC, Secretary/Treasurer

Dr. Mary Okada began her service in 2014. She represents the Pacific Postsecondary Education Council on the Commission. She serves as chairperson of the PPEC, a council of presidents and chancellors of institutions of American Samoa, the Federated States of Micronesia, Guam, the Commonweath of Northern Marianas Islands, Palau, the Marshall Islands, and the State of Hawaii that addresses regional and post-secondary education issues. Dr. Okada has been the president at Guam Community College since 2007, and has served on several ACCJC accreditation teams. She holds a B.A. in Business Administration and a Master’s in Public Administration from the University of Guam, and a doctorate in Educational Leadership from the University of Phoenix.

Dr. Raúl Rodríguez

Raúl Rodríguez

Administrative Member, Immediate Past Chair

Dr.Raúl Rodríguez has served since 2011. He has nine years’ teaching experience at Cabrillo College and University of California, Santa Cruz, in the field of Psychology; and 25 years’ administrative experience at Cabrillo, San Jose, Los Medanos, and San Joaquin Delta Colleges. He is currently Chancellor of the Rancho Santiago Community College District with well over two decades of accreditation experience. He is a board member of Chief Executive Officers of the California Community Colleges, and many other community service organizations. He holds a Doctorate in Psychology from the University of California, Santa Cruz, a M.A. in School and Applied Psychology from Fairfield University, and a B.A. in Liberal Studies from Bowling Green State University.

Randy Beach

Academic Member

Mr. John Randy Beach began his service in 2018. He is Professor of English and Education at Southwestern College. He holds an M.A. in English from the University of Charleston, a B.A. in English from the College of Charleston, and a B.A. in Journalism and Mass Communications from the University of South Carolina.  He has served on three comprehensive evaluation teams since 2015 and has been involved in the creation of Southwestern College’s ISERs since 2009. He served three years as a member of the Academic Senate for California Community Colleges (ASCCC) Executive Committee and is a past chair of the ASCCC Accreditation and Assessment Committee. He has served as the Academic Senate President and the Institutional Program Review and Student Learning Outcomes Coordinator for Southwestern and is currently the Southwestern Curriculum Committee faculty co-chair.

Dr. Kevin Bontenbal

Kevin Bontenbal

Academic Member

Dr. Kevin Bontenbal began his service in 2015. Dr. Bontenbal is the Instructional Technology Librarian at Cuesta College. He has served on five comprehensive evaluation teams since 2006 and has been involved in accreditation at Cuesta College where he also serves as President of the Academic Senate. Dr. Bontenbal holds two B.A. degrees in Philosophy and in Religious Studies from California State University, Chico; a Master of Library Science from Syracuse University; a Doctorate in Educational Leadership from the University of California, Santa Barbara; and a Certificate in Online Teaching from the University of California, Los Angeles.

Danika Bowen

Administrative Member, Independent Institutions

Dr. Danika Bowen began her service with the Commission in 2017. She holds an Ed.D. in Educational Leadership and Change from Fielding University, an MBA from Keller University, an M.A. in Curriculum and Instruction from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo and a B.S. in Biochemistry from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo. Dr. Bowen serves as the Vice President of Accreditation and Professional Regulation for Carrington College. She previously served as Provost/Vice President of Academic Affairs of Carrington College for eight years. Throughout her tenure at Carrington College, Dr. Bowen has served as the Accreditation Liaison Officer and provided oversight for all programmatic and institutional accreditation visits. Dr. Bowen has experience in institutional planning, fiscal oversight, educational policies and practices, ISER creation, curriculum and instruction, participatory governance and faculty development. She has served on a total of seven comprehensive evaluations and follow-up teams and as a member.

Dr. Ned Doffoney

Ned Doffoney

Public Member

Dr. Ned Doffoney has served since 2016. He holds an Ed.D. in Institutional Management from Pepperdine University, an M.S. in Vocational Rehabilitation Counseling from the University of Southwestern Louisiana, and a B.A. in Economics and Mathematics from the University of Southwestern Louisiana. Dr. Doffoney is the Chancellor Emeritus of the North Orange County Community College District, a position he held from 2008 until 2015. He served as the President of Fresno City College for six years, the founding President/Chancellor of South Louisiana Community College for four years, and as the President of Saddleback College for four years. Dr. Doffoney has extensive experience in institutional effectiveness and accountability, college and district-wide facilities planning, budgeting, research, and institutional assessment strategic and master planning. He has served as chair and member of external evaluation teams for the ACCJC and also worked closely with the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools while in Louisiana.

Barbara Dunsheath

Academic Member

Dr. Barbara Dunsheath began her service in 2017. She teaches history full time at East Los Angeles College.  As professor of history for the past 20 years she has served as Faculty Chair of Accreditation and on a variety of committees including curriculum, Professional Development, Distance Education, Women/Gender Studies and Learning Assessment.  Dr. Dunsheath has also served as Trustee for the North Orange County Community College District since 2005.  Dr. Dunsheath is also involved in various California State committees including Faculty Association California Community Colleges (FACCC) Communications Committee; California League of Community Colleges; ACES committee and Vision 2020.  She holds a BA in History from Bradley University and a MA in History and an Ed.D. in Educational Leadership from CSULB.

Dr. Lori Gaskin

Lori Gaskin

Public Member

Dr. Lori Gaskin began her service in 2016. She holds a Ph.D. in Educational Leadership from the University of Nevada, and an M.A. in Geography and a B.A. in Geography from the University of California, Los Angeles. Dr. Gaskin retired in August, 2016 as Superintendent/President of Santa Barbara City College after four years. She previously served as the President of West Valley College for three years, and as Vice President of Academic Affairs and Student Services, Acting Superintendent/President, and Dean of Instruction at Lake Tahoe Community College for 17 years. She began her career in higher education as a faculty member at Barstow College. Dr. Gaskin has experience in institutional planning, fiscal oversight, bond oversight, educational policies and practices, participatory governance, and institutional accountability. She has served on a total of six comprehensive evaluation and follow-up teams as chair and as a member.

Karolyn R. Hanna

Public Member

Dr. Karolyn Hanna began her service in 2015. She is a retired Professor of Nursing at Santa Barbara City College. She has been active in nursing accreditation with the State Board of Registered Nursing Accreditation and the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission in addition to her work on several evaluation teams for nursing accreditation. Dr. Hanna holds a B.S. in Nursing from Mankato State University in Minnesota; two M.S. degrees: one in Guidance from Creighton University in Nebraska and another in Nursing from California State University, Dominguez Hills; and a Doctor of Philosophy in Education from University of California, Santa Barbara. She has held faculty positions in nursing at colleges in Missouri, Nebraska, and California and has served as a Staff Nurse and Medical Education and Nursing Director in Minnesota and California.

Roberts T. Jones

Roberts T. Jones

Public Member

Mr. Roberts Jones has served since 2016. He is a graduate of the University of Redlands and attended Santa Barbara City College where he served as Student Body President. Mr. Jones is President of the Education and Workforce Policy, a policy consulting firm with a focus on the advancement of education, training, and workforce policy. He also serves as the President of the MTC Institute, a policy and research arm of the Management and Training Corporation, and as the co-director of the Lumina-funded Credential Transparency Initiative. Mr. Jones has also served as the President of the National Alliance of Business for 10 years, on the U.S. Department of Labor for 20 years (six years as Assistant Secretary), and as Chief of Staff for two congressional members for five years. He has also served seven years on the WASC Senior College Commission.

Dr. Willard Lewallen

Willard Lewallen

Administrative Member

Dr. Willard Lewallen has served since 2016. He holds a Ph.D. in Education from the University of California, Los Angeles, an M.S.Ed. in Counseling and Personnel Services and an M.S. in Exercise Science from Purdue University, and a B.S. in Physical Education from California State Polytechnic University, Pomona. Dr. Lewallen is the Superintendent/President of Hartnell Community College District, a position he has held since 2012. He previously served as the President of West Hills College Coalinga for five years, and the Vice President of Student Services at Victor Valley College for eight years. He has experience in research design, evaluation, measurement, and statistics. Dr. Lewallen has served on seven external evaluation teams, five times as chair, and on several follow-up teams.

Dr. John Morton

John Morton

Administrative Member, University of Hawai’i Community Colleges

Dr. John Morton has served since 2013. Currently Vice President for Community Colleges at the University of Hawai’i, Dr. Morton has 38 years of administrative experience including Vice President, Chancellor, Dean, and Director. He has a Ph.D. from the University of Hawai’i at Manoa, and M.A. and B.A. degrees from the University of Illinois. He serves on the Commission Policy Committee, and has served on the Commission ad hoc Lumina Grant Advising Committee, and the WASC Board of Directors. Dr. Morton has served on seven comprehensive evaluation teams, six of those as Team Chair.

Cynthia Napoli-Abella Reiss

Academic Member

Dr. Cynthia Napoli-Abella Reiss began her service in 2018. She is an Art History Professor at West Valley College in Saratoga. She has served on three comprehensive evaluation teams since 2012 and has been involved in accreditation at West Valley where she has also served as Vice-President of the Academic Senate. Dr. Napoli-Abella Reiss holds two B.A. degrees in Comparative Literature and in Art History from the University of California, Irvine; a Master’s in Art History from San Francisco State University; a Doctorate in Art History from the University of California, Irvine; and a Certificate in Educational Leadership from Harvard University.

Sally Pestana

Academic Member

Ms. Sally Pestana began her service in 2017.  She has been a faculty member of Kapi’olani Community College in Honolulu for 33 years.  She has worked in curriculum design, new program design and implementation, learning assessment, student-centered learning initiatives, and grant management. She is currently Director of Health Education Non-Credit programs for the college.  She has extensive programmatic accreditation experience with the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS).  Ms. Pestana holds two B.S. degrees from the University of North Dakota.

Matt Russo

Administrative Member, Accrediting Commission for Schools

Dr. Matthew (Matt) Russo began his service in 2018. He was appointed by the WASC Accrediting Commission for Schools where he also serves on their commission. Dr. Russo is the Principal of Adult Education for the Beaumont Unified School District. He brings extensive experience in adult education at the local and the state levels. Dr. Russo served for a number of years as a teacher and administrator in California’s public K-12 system. He earned an Associate of Arts at Crafton Hills College, a Bachelor of Arts from CSU San Bernardino and a Master of Science at the University of Redlands, and a Doctor of Education at the University of Southern California.

Carmen Sigler

Administrative Member, WASC Senior College and University Commission

Dr. Carmen Sigler began her service in 2017. She represents four-year colleges and universities accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC). She has 35 years of teaching experience (having taught at Stanford University and San Jose State University) and 17 years’ administrative experience as department chairperson, Dean of the College of Humanities and the Arts, Vice President for University Advancement, and Provost and Academic Vice President at San José State University, in San José, California. Dr. Sigler is a former member of the Inter-Segmental Coordinating Council and served two terms on the WASC Senior Commission. She holds A.M and Ph.D. degrees in Romance Languages and Literatures from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.

Theresa Tena

Administrative Member, CCCCO

Ms. Theresa Tena began her service in 2018. She represents the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office (CCCCO) on the Commission. Ms. Tena serves as Executive Vice Chancellor of Institutional Effectiveness and Innovation and oversees the development and operation of a comprehensive technical assistance program to further student success and institutional effectiveness. Previously, Ms. Tena served as Vice President for the Community College League of California and as Director of Fiscal Services for Solano Community College District. Ms. Tena double majored in history and international relations while attending the University of California, Davis, and earned a Master of Public Administration degree from the University of Southern California.

© Copyright  The Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges